Item Details

Our Original Aggression: Aboriginal Populations of Southeastern Australia, 1788-1850

N.G. (Noel George) Butlin, Author
Format
Book
Published
Sydney ; Boston : G. Allen & Unwin, 1983.
Language
English
ISBN
0868612235, 9780868612232
Contents
  • Introduction and disease background
  • Demographic Modelling
  • Appraisal of estimates
  • Towards an ecological model
Keywords
Smallpox
Depopulation disturbances
Australian National University
Technical Details

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    a| Butlin, N. G. q| (Noel George)
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    a| Our original aggression : b| Aboriginal populations of southeastern Australia, 1788-1850 / c| N.G. Butlin.
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    a| Sydney ; a| Boston : b| G. Allen & Unwin, c| 1983.
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    a| xii, 186 pages : b| illustrations ; c| 22 cm
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    a| text b| txt 2| rdacontent
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    a| Includes bibliographical references (pages 177-182) and index.
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    a| Foreword by H. C. Coombs -- Preface -- A : Introduction and disease background -- I Black fellow fall down, jump up white man -- Introduction -- The basic approach -- II Death at a long distance -- White settlers in the new world -- Disease and population estimates -- The Australian case -- The experience of smallpox 1789 and 1829 -- Veneral diseases -- Other diseases -- B : Demographi modelling -- I Assumptions and procedures -- III Basis of modelling -- Main modelling ingredients -- Demographic assumptions -- Economic modelling -- IV Depopulating disturbances -- Introduction -- Simulation sequences -- II Diseases and population recovery -- V Smallpox -- VI The potential for population recovery -- Reduced warfare -- Abortion -- Infanticide -- VII Other diseases -- Venereal diseases -- Other diseases -- VIII Summary fisease effects -- III Resource competition -- IX Resource depletion and depopulation -- X Black and white options -- Introduction -- Option (I) and the problem of mobility -- Option (2) and mobility with '1788' populations remaining -- Option (2) again, partial immobility and prior population loss -- Option (1) again, partial immobility and prior population loss -- Options (4) and (5) -- Option (10): white intercourse with black women -- Resistance and violence options -- C : Appraisal of estimates -- IX '1788' population possibilities -- The general problem -- Radcliffe-Brown -- Lourandos-Robinson in the Western district -- E.M. Curr -- a forgotten statistician? -- XII Possible extrapolations -- Extrapolating 1845 estimates -- Extrapolating Curr's estimates of 1835 -- Fyans-Buckley 1845 -- Lourandos-Robinson 1841 -- Back to Curr -- XIII Summary results -- Victoria -- Some comments on New South Wales -- A final note on northern Australia densities -- D: Towards an ecological model -- XIV Economy and ecology -- Introduction -- Some important puzzles -- Food consuption and supplies -- Reaping the harvest -- Drought and optimal populations -- The prospects and problems of ecological modelling -- XV Some general inferences -- References -- Index -- Tables -- Maps.
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    a| Our Original Aggression is a fascinating work of historical detection. Professor Butlin offers a radical revision of the prevailing understanding of the number of Aborigines living in southeastern Australia at the time of white arrival and an equally radical assessment of the reasons for their population decline ot 1850. With little concrete information to go on, Our Original Aggression draws on a wide range of world experience of black/white contact and of understanding in medicine, epidemiology, ecology, demography, economics and history. As an exercise in detection it may appeal generally as much as a detective story as it must to policy makers, scholars and any person with an interest in Aborigines or race relations and Australian history. Professor Butlin proposes that we need to multipy by several times the existing estimates of pre-contact Aboriginal populations and to revise radically our understanding of why their numbers declined. He suggests that we may even need to think about black population destruction as an act of genocide. The revision of population size leads to several radical changes in perception. It is proposed that we may have to re-think fundamentally the way Aborigines used the available natural resources, whether they were nomadic people. Professor Butlin argues that probably no whites really had the opportunity to 'see' Australian Aborigines as they were originally and that almost all white descriptions of them are highly suspect. He has used these descriptions together with innovative modes of analysis to challenge the basic framework within which contemporary Australian anthropology operates. (Back cover).
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This item is available for use only in the Kluge-Ruhe Study Center, housed within the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia. For information on viewing this item, please visit the Kluge-Ruhe Study Center web page.